Wednesday 10/28/20
MILITARY EXERCISE

Turkey angers NATO with first test of Russian S-400 missile system

An S-400 missile was fired from the city of Sinop on the Black Sea. A series of tests is due to take place over a 10-day period, using British-made Banshee target drones.
A column on smoke in Sinop. Image: screenshot from the footage shown by pro-government news site A Haber.
A column on smoke in Sinop. Image: screenshot from the footage shown by pro-government news site A Haber.

Turkey carried out its first live test of a Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile defence system on Friday, local media report reported, although this was not immediately officially confirmed.

An S-400 missile was fired from the city of Sinop on the Black Sea, across from the coastline of Russia, pro-government news site A Haber reported, featuring a video by a local witness.

The footage showed a column of smoke rising into the sky from behind a residential area.

A series of tests is due to take place over a 10-day period, using British-made Banshee target drones, the report said.

The exercises will test the S-400's engagement, detection and tracking capabilities as well as its radar and communications systems, A Haber added.

Earlier this week, Turkey issued issued a maritime advisory, known as a Navtex, stating that military shooting exercises would be held between October 16 and 17 in an area near Sinop.

Trucks carrying S-400 batteries

Last week, footage emerged on social media showing what appeared to be trucks carrying S-400 batteries to Sinop.

A radar connection test was carried out last year from a military airport in Ankara with a US-made F-16 fighter jet, according to local media.

Turkey angered its NATO allies by purchasing the advanced Russian system last year despite the threat of US sanctions.

Washington fears the S-400 will compromise the F-35 stealth fighter jet. Turkey has been suspended from the F-35 joint manufacturing programme.

One of the best air defence systems of its kind, the S-400 has the potential to engage airborne targets about 400 kilometres away.

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